How Are Yoga and Meditation Related?
Yoga is defined as the union of the mind, body and spirit, and hence the practice of yoga is a spiritual, mental and physical discipline. Many people associate Yoga as an exercise, however it is much more than that. Yoga is a way of life involving body postures, controlled styles of breathing and stillness of mind, in order to achieve a relaxed body, calm mind, along with several other scientifically proven health benefits.
Meditation is part of the mental yoga practice and one key element of Yoga, in order to achieve higher states of mental awareness and relaxation. A Yoga practice is rarely complete without the practice of meditation.
While our energies are focussed to do asanas (poses) in specific way, in that moment nothing goes in our mind- we are focussed and engaged. That’s what we also do in meditation. We focus our mind on our breath. The idea is to bring our mind to one state that is focussed. When all other thoughts stop and we experience a unity of mind, body and spirit.
In that way yoga and meditation are bringing us closer to the same state- that is oneness.
Yoga consists of eight fold path. To achieve nirvana – ultimate freedom, a yogi walks on this path.
- Yamas (Don’ts or Restraints)
- Niyamas (Do’s or Observances)
- Asanas (Exercises and poses)
- Pranayamas (Breathing exercises and techniques)
- Pratyahara (Control of the senses)
- Dharana (Concentration)
- Dhyana (Meditation) and
- Samadhi (A super-conscious state)
Meditation is an important state to achieveSamadhi- or union with divine. Buddha achieved Samadhi while he was sitting in lotus pose or padmasan and meditating.
Inorder to achieve a goodmind body connect we need to communicate at the level of both mind and body. The principle of yoga, the asanas or poses along with meditation and a yogic lifestyle has answers to our existential questions. We just need to be as true to our selves and our bodies as we can.